Photographers just like any other type of artists are not immune from having a creative block. There are often posts across photography forums where people express their frustration about loosing interest for photography or not being able to find that spark that made them pick up the camera in the first place.
The photographer’s block happens to most of us and it occasionally comes back without a warning. Here are some common issues:
Can not find an interesting subject to photograph?
What to do with all these photos?
That’s another common obstacle photographers face: what to do with images? Do I need another landscape shot? Do I need another macro flower shot? Or another water drop? The solution to this situation is to find an outlet for your images.
photo by Sasha Gitin, Mary and Jesus, Bolivia
I remember (some 10 years ago) after a few months of traveling, I started loosing interest in travel photography as it became a mantra: landscape number 126, donkey number 19, colonial building number 58…you get the point.) One day, I naturally came up with a project. I became fascinated with sculptures of Saints and Jesus found in Catholic churches in Mexico and South and Central Americas.What intrigued me the most was the way sculptures were portrayed, expressing pain so vividly that it seemed that Jesus just walked out of Mel Gibson’s movie Passion of Christ. I worked and focused on that theme for about four years. Every time I arrived to a new town, I anticipating entering a church and conducting my visual study. I still shot plenty of donkeys and sunsets but my photography, with a focused theme had a purpose and made my travel experience more interesting.
photo by Sasha Gitin, Atlixco, Mexico
Photography is as much about seeing as it is about creating. Some photographers are great at observing and capturing images that are already there waiting for them to be claimed. Others create images by setting up scenes using objects and/or collaborating with people to create their own story. If you are into creating images it might be a good idea to switch for a day and go out there and shoot some street portraits or architecture. Or vise versa: if you are a documentary or a people photographer try shooting some still life for a day. You will be amazed what you will learn about your own creativity and new ideas will sure start hatching.
You may browse our library of over 70 tutorials to get some good ideas, that’s what we are here for.
We asked the question “How to overcome photographer’s block” to our fans on facebook page. And here are few suggestions folks shared:
@Ugogurl just do more random shooting… something usually clicks
@Cindee Music and nature always inspire me, but whenever I feel like I’m in a funk I sometimes look to the work of others. I find that I can quite often be inspired and come up with something original without having to copy them.
@Momen I joined a local photography club and we meet regularly, that inspires us all with new ideas. I also participate in photography competitions. The best work I have is that I photograph to enter a contest, although I never won anything so far, but trying alone indeed improves me already!
@Spike Sometimes I look through Flickr or other photo sites for inspiring shots. I like the idea of a photo club though. If not for my wonky work schedule, I’d love to join or even create one locally.
Let’s continue this conversation. Please share your solution to Photographer’s block. And if you are having one right now try to overcome it and post your new images here Using “Share your Shot” feature in comments.
Next week Robert Grant will post a video showing how he deals with his artist’s block. Update: Photographer’s Block video by Robert is here.